A Kutztown University student brought a gun onto campus on Feb. 20.On Feb. 15, University President F. Javier Cevallos sent out a letter to the campus community that including the sentiments "encouraging our students to report suspicious behavior."
"Within a week, we had the report of the student storing the gun in his room," said Matt Santos, media relations representative for the University.
According to Santos, there was a report of a University rules violation. Campus police were alerted to a possible presence of a weapon. Upon confirmation, the student involved was asked to remove the weapon from campus and complied. The incident has been submitted to University judicial services for review.
Santos noted that the University cannot confirm or release the name of the student who possessed the weapon. All students are protected by FERPA, which prohibits University officials from releasing or confirming any names, or discussing the student's record in general for this type of incident.
What does the University do to protect students?
"First and foremost, we have a University police department that is staffed by full-time, fully-trained, statecertified officers who receive continual training to respond to various incidents," said Santos. "We also have the ability to receive assistance from off-campus law enforcement in a moment's notice."
In addition, the University has an emergency operations team that meets regularly to ensure campus safety measures, and that is currently in the process of reviewing methods to complement mass notification systems, he said.
"Although existing measures are reassuring, safety and security must be a joint effort between the University and all members of the campus community," he said. "No matter where we are, suspicious behaviors must be reported to the police."
Santos recommended suspicious behavior on campus be reported to Public Safety & Police Services by calling 610-683-4001.
"This reporting method has proved extremely effective in helping our police diffuse potentially threatening situations on our campus in the past. When in doubt, please take precautionary measures and call the police immediately," said Santos.
Contact Lisa Mitchell by e-mail at email@example.com.